Eight months after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the remaining episodes of Chicago Fire, our favorites firefighters and paramedics at Firehouse 51 are back in action, and they haven’t missed a beat. The show’s hiatus didn’t stop it from showing the impacts of the pandemic in the world of NBC’s hit drama series: significantly less people working in the Firehouse, and characters acknowledging that the pandemic has affected a lot of the city and how it has affected their jobs.
The episode began with Joe Cruz literally running into work, and getting a quick temperature check before running inside. Chief Boden is in the middle of introducing the newest paramedic to the squad when Joe bursts into his office, apologizing for his tardiness because he hit a pot-hole on the way in. The new paramedic is introduced as Gianna Mackey (played by Adriyan Rae), who has known Joe all of her life.
Kelly Severide tells Matt Casey and Sylvie Brett that his girlfriend Stella Kidd’s Girl’s on Fire program was temporarily shut down due to the pandemic and that most of the office workers are working from home, leaving only the firefighters and paramedics inside. Brett then says that Emily Foster’s new job at Northwestern is also insane because of the pandemic. This was the show’s way of writing off the character after two seasons.
The Firehouse’s siren goes off, calling on Ambulance 61 to a call, giving Mackey and Brett their first call as new partners. The call is a possible overdose, and the victim’s brother appears and puts a gun to their heads, threatening violence if they try to take him to the hospital. In a huge act of bravery, Brett gets the victim on a stretcher and gets him into the ambulance, with the gunman chasing after them, and not a shot fired.
After returning back to the Firehouse, Joe immediately bombards Mackey with questions about her first call being so tense and insane. She calms him down nicely and goes into the kitchen to start making lunch for everyone, even giving a small smile to firefighter candidate Blake Gallo. I’m guessing this will be the first romance suspicion of the season, but I’m waiting for the day that Casey and Sylvie end up together.
Chief Boden informs Severide that Squad 3 are going to be testing new equipment on a Saturday, so they all have to come in. Stella then goes on a rant to her boyfriend about having her program shut down, and that she doesn’t want the young women that she’s inspired to lose interest in possibly being firefighters.
We now get our C plot of the episode, with my favorite characters Christopher Herrmann and “Mouch” McHolland. Herrmann learned about a guy who wrote a poem to a “hidden treasure” that tricked people into going out into nature, and he wants to do the same for Molly’s Patio, a new addition to Molly’s Bar, to lure people in for business. I’m sure they want to make sure that the bar is as socially distant as possible for when the characters go out for a drink after work. Candidate Darren Ritter overhears this and wants to help out with the poem. It’s Herrmann’s latest cash grab, and if history should repeat itself, it’ll most likely blow up in his face.
Boden informs his paramedics that the man who overdosed died in the hospital, causing Sylvie and Gianna to become nervous about the brother who pulled a gun on them while on the scene. Chicago P.D.’s Kim Burgess stops by to take a statement from them and informs them that the brother, Joe Halleck, has a long record of assault, robbery, and drug charges. The paramedics decide to stay on active duty but will be cautious if they see him.
After Gallo formally introduces himself to Gianna, Cruz pulls him aside and tells him to back off.
There’s a ray of sunshine in this episode, as Stella gets the all-clear to continue her Girls on Fire program, as long as it sticks to COVID regulations.
Mouch, Herrmann, and Ritter then bury the special Molly’s Coupon, which is free drinks for life. As I predicted earlier, they bury it outside the firehouse, which I’m sure will be extremely easy to find for anyone. I love the little plans that Herrmann gets himself into throughout the series. They then start writing the poem at the new Molly’s spot, and Ritter is shown to be incredibly helpful in poetry writing. As someone who also watches P.D. and Med, there isn’t a whole lot of lightheartedness in those shows, but Fire gives that in the form of Herrmann and Mouch. It used to be Cruz and Otis, but sadly, Otis’ character was killed off last season.
Everyone’s shift ends, and Sylvie heads home for the night. What she doesn’t know is that we get the “creepy stalker camera angle from a car” watching her as she drives away, and as she arrives home, her apartment door is slightly ajar. Calling Casey, he quickly arrives and they quietly go inside, thinking that Halleck might have broken in. They don’t find anything, and Casey says that he is staying the night on the couch just to make sure everything’s okay. They play “Head’s Up” together, and they are on the accent category, and Matt does a “terrible” Australian accent. I think this might be the fourth or fifth Australian joke they’ve made to Casey, since the actor who plays him (Jesse Spencer) is Australian in real life. The two laugh as they head off to bed. This little flirtmance BETTER turn into something real, come on, the fanbase wants it!
The next morning, Stella and Severide notice that Casey went to Sylvie’s, and they get suspicions that they might have been hooking up.
Herrmann and Mouch are doing a local TV ad for the Molly’s treasure hunt when the Firehouse is called to action. They arrive to the scene, which is a burning photography studio with dozens trapped inside. It should be noted that all paramedics and firemen standing outside were masked up. Sylvie gives advice to Gianna on helping victims as they get to work and wait for additional ambulances to help. Inside the building, Stella sees a couple of people run in the wrong direction to safety, and she runs after them. An explosion goes off in the building, trapping Severide and knocking his mask off. Stella knocks over a set statue in the studio and breaks a wall down to get to where Severide is. She gets his oxygen back on his face and frees him, and the two make it out of the building, while also saving one last victim before safely making it out.
Back in the Firehouse, Boden brings Stella into his office and shows her a picture of Engine 21, an 1872 squad of all-Black firefighters in Chicago. This is a real-life squad that has greatly impacted Chicago’s Fire Department. Boden says that there aren’t women or people of color involved in the CFD, and he wants her to take a lieutenant test when it is next offered. I LOVE this for Stella: her character development has been phenomenal over the last several seasons, and she’s grown to be a smart, and influential part of the series.
As said in the past, someone digs up the free drink coupon mere hours after the word was put out. As usual, one of Herrmann’s plans falls short, and now he has to give a guy free drinks forever.
Severide encourages Stella to take the lieutenant test, and that he is going to help her out to prepare for it.
Gallo, while getting the evil eye from Cruz, tries to avoid asking out Gianna. Gianna then asks herself out, pretending to be Gallo, giving him a wink as Ambulance 61 is called upon. As they being their drive, Joe Halleck drives next to them and tries to shoot them! The episode ends with both Halleck, and Ambulance 61 crashing off the side of the highway, and landing with a crash to the ground.
Overall, I would say this was a solid season premiere! It was great to see all of these characters, as well as get some new ones, along with a great cliffhanger to end the hour. The (hopeful) resolution will be solved in next week’s episode!
Are you happy to see Firehouse 51 back in action?
Chicago Fire Review: Show of Force (10×12)
The investigation into Pelham’s case continued in tonight’s new episode, and Stella got a shot at the spotlight in tonight’s latest episode of Chicago Fire.
With Pelham on temporary suspension while they investigate what happened at the electrical fire, Stella is the acting lieutenant on Truck 81. Her leadership was put to the test while rescuing people who were trapped in a mall escalator, and her natural leadership saved everyone involved. All the while, a proud Chief Boden watched from a distance.
Boden proceeded with the accusation that Deputy District Chief Killborn is behind the allegations against Pelham, which started off with little to no traction, due to the lack of respect of Pelham in the Department. Stella suggested getting Stafford, the firefighter who Pelham took the fall for, testify to clear Pelham. Boden spoke with Stafford, and pleaded with him to do something for Pelham, since he owes him.
Stella sat Mouch and Gallo down and gave quite the inspiration speech about storming the CFD headquarters and confronting Deputy Commissioner Hill about reinstating Pelham. It showcased her talents as a leader, and how she should be ready to take on any leadership thrown her way. The three went to the office and threw down their uniforms as a threat to talk to the Commissioner.
After speaking with Stella and Stafford, Hill and Stella went to see Sarah, the firefighter who accused Pelham, and encouraged her to show her strength in this department. At the Chicago Fire Department Gala, Hill revealed that Sarah recanted her statement, and that she was coerced by Killborn to make that accusation, and Killborn was put on administrative leave.
Due to COVID (because, you know, that’s still around), the annual Fire Department Gala was for officers only, causing the rest of Firehouse 51 to throw their own gala for those who can’t attend. However, Ritter, Gallo, and Violet tried to throw a second party for only the young firefighters so that they can have more freedom to go crazy. The first party was, well, surprisingly good. The band that Capp is a part of (with a bunch of teenagers, making him stick out like a sore thumb) rocked the house down in a weird turn of events.
Herrmann taught some classes at the Fire Academy, and met Todd, the brother of a firefighter who died in action who Herrmann knew. Todd is not a firefighter, but sits in the memorial hallway where his brother’s badge is hung, to spend some time with him. The emotions got the better of Herrmann, as he came home to see two of his sons fighting, and he yelled at them, wanting them to be grateful to have their siblings around. Herrmann’s kids went with him to the Fire Academy to go speak with Todd, where he showed them pictures and told them stories.
Severide re-proposed to Stella, declaring himself to be the luckiest man in Chicago, as they continued to rebuild their relationship. Stella even got to let Pelham know that he is back in the lieutenant’s chair, and it’s his time to come back.
We even got a small cliffhanger, as Violet and Chief Hawkins shared a kiss at the gala.
My complaint of this week remains the same as it was last week’s, which is the unnecessary C plot, which in this case, was with Herrmann. He has been such a great constant of morality in the whole series, but I just didn’t care enough about this whole thing with Todd, and his kids.
At first, I didn’t care for the gala plot, but it did end up being quite relevant to close the Killborn story, and begin the new one that is to come with Violet and Hawkins.
Chicago Fire is taking a break for the Olympics but will be back at the end of February! What do you think will happen after the break? Leave a comment below!
Chicago Fire Review: Fog of War (10×11)
Tonight’s brand new episode brought an electric rescue, a radio contest, and a visit from home.
A call of a crashed car into an electric pole brought Firehouse 37 joining 51 to the rescue. With a lot of live electrical wires covering the ground, the two teams had to work together to make sure no one got electrocuted while they rescued the driver inside. This didn’t bode well for one member of Firehouse 37, McBride, who, after trying to restrain one of the wires, was hit in the chest by the wire, knocking her out. This was followed by the transformer on the electric pole exploding as well. This made Severide suspicious that the transformer may be faulty.
Severide and Pelham investigated the scene after the fact, and took the transformer to see what happened to it, and Pelham even realized that from where he was standing, there was no sight line between him and McBride.
The transformer was faulty and the investigating captain commended Severide on his work, and reference Lieutenant Seager wanting to work with him again, which Stella overheard.
McBride was diagnosed with a concussion, and claims that Pelham gave her an order to secure the live wire without the proper equipment, which Pelham denied. This lead to an investigation within 51 as to what happened and to contradict McBride’s statement. Stella knows McBride through Girls on Fire, and she felt that she would not lie about this. After bringing it up with Severide, he coldly brushed her aside.
Stella visited McBride at physical therapy, who was incredibly defensive on her stance against Pelham. Boden even talked to the chief at firehouse 37, who also did not take a full stance on the subject. Boden then went to Chief Kilborn, who has a vendetta against Pelham, and accused him of making up the accusations against Pelham. The episode concluded with Boden telling Pelham that the department has recommended that he be fired for this case.
Severide and Stella had yet another fight about her absence, leading Stella wondering if she is the perfect one for him.
After reviving that newborn in the last episode, Violet received an honorary award for resuscitation. While honored, she was a little nervous about it, considering she has a feeling Hawkins has feelings for her. Violet received the note from Hawkins, causing a little bit of jealousy from Gallo. Violet went to Hawkins’ office to thank him, and the meeting ended with them deciding that they should probably not see each other as much especially at work.
Tonight, Sylvie was visited by her stepdad, Scott, and her two year old sister Amelia, who were in town. The visit made Sylvie miss Casey, and it truly made me wonder how long they are going to keep up this constant reference to him, before the relationship ends up getting broken off.
Several members in the Firehouse worked together throughout the episode to win a radio contest, where the host gave clues to a “Chicago fugitive,” and who ever found them won $10,000. The clues were vague, and Herrmann lead the way to try and find them. When the team was called to help another firehouse clean up a scene, a civilian found the “fugitive,” hurting any chances of 51 winning the money.
The show’s next big plot is going to be Boden working hard to clear Pelham’s name, and keep him at 51, and fighting anyone who gets in his way. I think this will be interesting to see progress, as well as a great study of Boden’s determination to fight for his crew.
When it comes to the big relationships of the season (Stella/Severide, Sylvie/Casey, and the love triangle of Gallo/Violet/Hawkins), I feel like this show needs to pump the breaks with all three. I feel like the show needs to focus on one at a time here, because it gets a little convoluted. As much as the fandom has been wanting Sylvie and Casey to be together for years, I think it’s time to cut the ties, especially because Jesse Spencer is not returning to the series for the foreseeable future. I think maybe he can cameo where the relationship ends, and Sylvie can move on and build her Paramedicine program. Remember that? That was this season!
I do think that Stella and Severide will find a way to reconcile, as they really are the two big leads of the series, so I don’t have as much thoughts on that. However the Gallo/Violet/Hawkins love triangle should find a resolution soon. Part of me feels like Violet will end up with Gallo, because she is way more compatible with him, and she might feel like she would get special treatment if she was also dating Hawkins, which she would not want.
The show is headed in several different ways. I appreciate the balance of storylines, but I do think that so many of them could be trimmed down. I personally did not even care about the radio contest plotline, since it lead to a random civilian winning. It made sense, knowing Herrmann’s luck, but we’ve seen this kind of thing so many times with this show, that it felt a little stale, and I was looking at my phone during those scenes as the team assembled to decipher the clues. I’d much prefer if the show had its regular firefighting business, and then sprinkle in the romance since, you, drama, but sometimes I think we can cool it with the C plots of random stories that aren’t fully necessary.
What did you think of tonight’s electrifying episode? Leave a comment below!
Chicago Fire Review: Back with a Bang (10×10)
The episode title says it all: Chicago Fire returned with a bang on tonight’s 2022 premiere.
Let’s address the elephant in the room: Stella Kidd’s return. The winter finale left us with a cliffhanger as Stella returned after being absent for most of the season, so she could grow the Girls on Fire program. The power couple seemed to bury the hatchet, while Stella saying that she wanted to grow the program as much as she could, and she knew she would lose the lead lieutenant job for that case. She assured Severide that she did not cheat on him, but now she’s back and wants to be back at 51 to see where this could lead her.
This sentiment is repeated by Boden, who encouraged her to stay focused, regardless of his promoting Pelham to the lead lieutenant on truck.
The big case of the week revolved around a potassium fire in a highway tunnel. A truck containing dozens of propane canisters exploded. causing massive pileup and a fire inside the tunnel. While most of Truck 81 took care of the victims, Ritter had his eyes set on a young police officer, Dillion, who watched a truck driver burn to death. The guy was incredibly shaken up, considering he could have put out the fire, but failed to do so.
Ritter asked Mouch’s wife Trudy to look up the young cop, and he had put in his notice without a reason. Dillion left Ritter a note that sounded suicidal, and Ritter rushed to his rescue. The note was in reference to Ritter saving his life, and how he couldn’t save the drivers.
After the call, Pelham approached Stella about the lieutenant job, which Stella assured him that he got because he earned it, and previous relationships with her and the rest of the firehouse will affect their job. Boden was told by another chief, Kilborn, that Pelham should not have the job, let alone a permanent residency. This chief has some sort of vendetta against Pelham. and this will escalate as the weeks go by.
It’s worth noting that Chief Hawkins became the floater for Violet while Sylvie was off visiting Casey, which is his excuse to try and get closer to her. This was tested when the two were sent to help a mother who had a water birth, and the baby was under the water for too long. The two worked exceptionally well, and saved the baby.
The comedic C plot of the episode surrounded Cruz and a hermit crab. He found the hermit crab in a car inside the highway tunnel that belonged to a kindergarten teacher. When the teacher came by to get it, it was squad member Capp who took the reigns and started dating the teacher. Cruz wanted to help so he could get his baby into this preschool.
It’s great to see all of our favorite firefighters and paramedics back on our screens tonight. I think there’s a lot to unpack that’s going to present itself in the coming weeks: Pelham defending his job, Stella and Severide working out their relationship, and I’m seeing a spark between Ritter and his new police friend Dillion budding. The second half of this season is sure to be a wild one, and a big one for the books.
What did you think of Chicago Fire’s first episode of 2022? Leave a comment below.
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